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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  March 17, 2011 3:05am-4:30am EDT

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nikkei index slipped giving back some of wednesday's gains. of course, that all happened after the president of tokyo stock exchange appealed for calm. most major indexes traded lower as well. that was also the case for stocks here at home yesterday. the dow plunged 242 points, in its worst single day drop since last august. this week the dow has slipped more than 3.5%. that's the worst three-day loss since july. and stay with abc news throughout the morning and throughout the day as we cover the every-changing situation in japan. we'll have live updates on "america this morning" and later on "good morning america." also stay up to date any time at moving on to other news beginning with libya.
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four "new york times" journalists who have been covering the fighting there are now missing. pull its zero prize winning reporter anthony shadid, stephen farrell and photographers tyler hicks and linsey add dario were last heard from on tuesday. meanwhile, moammar gadhafi's forces have been battling rebels in a key city in eastern libya. there could be a vote today in the u.n. security council on whether to impose a no-fly zone over libya. meanwhile, secretary of state hillary clinton was in cairo talking through an unscheduled stroll -- taking an unscheduled stroll through tahrir square, the symbolic center of egypt's revolution. she urged egyptians to not let extremists ruin what they've already accomplished. clinton saying she will not stay on as the nation's top diplomat if president obama is re-elected. she also says she has no interest in another run for the white house. speaking of presidential runs, donald trump tells abc news that he's never been as serious as he is now. twice before trump has considered running deciding
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against it in 1988 and also 1999. in an extensive interview airing this morning on "good morning america," trump talks about how much he could spend on a campaign. he tells ashleigh banfield his war chest is full. >> reporter: you'd put up $600 million for this? >> absolutely. assuming i'm doing well. >> reporter: do you have $600 million to spare? >> more than that. part of the beauty of me is that i'm very rich. so, if i need $600 million, i could put up $600 million myself. that's a huge advantage. >> not sure on bravado, is he? you'll hear more from donald trump on where he stands on sensitive issues later this morning in a "good morning america" issue. >> you love that? they're doing the interview on his private jet. >> well, yeah. he's got quite the war chest, he says. the donald is rich. >> we could save fuel on air force one if-f he uses -- >> he could take his own plane. how are the skies up there? let's take a look at your weather. you'll run into thursday showers in the western part from northern california all the way
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up to seattle. up to a foot of snow in the cascades and rockies. showers in chicago, detroit, milwaukee and northern michigan. but warming up on the east coast. >> that's right. 61 here in new york. 74 in atlanta. 83 in miami. dallas climbs to 80. kansas city at 75. minneapolis at 55. 88 degrees in phoenix. 76 in albuquerque. 43 in salt lake city. 52 in portland. spring is already in the air at the white house as the first lady descended on the south lawn with a small army of helpers. >> first lady michelle obama planted her popular vegetable garden for the third time. about two dozen local fifth graders were invited to pitch in in the planting. the garden is used as a symbol in mrs. obama's fight against childhood obesity. get this, 2,000 pounds of veggies have been produced from that garden. that's impressive. >> not bad at all. the first lady introduced the beets this year but says the president does not like them. >> i love beets.
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>> there you go. i'll tell you what's interesting, even though the president doesn't like them she's going to try to force feed his veggies to him. >> i like. -t. see if she succeeds in that one. we'll be right back with more "world news now." ♪ [ female announcer ] unlock the potential of nature and shine. with pantene nature fusion shampoo. experience cassia essence fused with pantene pro v science. the advanced formula conditions damaged hair to unlock radiant shine today and up to 10 times more strength in 14 days. nature fusion from pantene. healthy makes it happen.
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welcome back. in many states across the country, it's already illegal to smoke in public places but now your own home could be next. >> what? >> yes. >> that's what they're saying. especially buildings here in new york city. they're facing lawsuits from residents with smoking neighbors. now, they claim their health and their lives are in danger. wabc's stacy sager reports. >> we were consistently sick and could not get better. >> reporter: in fact, christie says the situation here in her tribeca apartment was so bad, she and her family were forced to sue her next door neighbor. the issue, cigarette smoke.
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lately some new york city residents so desperate to clear the air inside their own apartments, they're seeking injunctions as a last resort. did you try to talk to your neighbor about it? >> yes, many times. many times before we filed the lawsuit. >> reporter: co-op and condo boards are quality right in the middle. on the one hand to protect smokers' rights inside their own homes, but on the other, facing constant complaints from nonsmokers who feel their trite an odor-free, healthy home are being violated. >> certainly more and more every year we get inquiries from our clients whether or not they can ban smokers from the buildings. >> reporter: so far virtually no one has but steven michaelsons condo board is hoping to vote on it this spring. >> people who are affected by the smoking and really don't like it, really they're the squeaky wheel. >> reporter: attorneys say the most complaints about smoking come from the newly constructed buildings in the city because the walls are often thinner and the ventilation systems can pose problems.
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meanwhile, you have smokers like dennis, who say -- >> i'd be absolutely livid. absolutely livid. i'm afraid that in a few short years they'll be telling, dictating when a husband can make love to his wife. >> reporter: bottom line, by the time the smoke on this issue begins to clear, the courts will be very busy. >> you can see how this has got two sides there. some people are saying, this is my own home, i should do what i want. others say, i can smell it through the ventilation. especially in new york where the walls are very, very thin. sometimes way too thin. >> for several reasons. coming up, not all couples have a wedding budget as generous as kate and william's. >> no, they don't. we'll take you to a discount store that sells both wedding gowns and toilet paper under one roof and help you safe some cash.
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with the weather getting warmer, wedding season is, of course, kicking into high gear. get this. average couple will spend $27,000. >> isn't that incredible? >> it is incredible. >> you think about just starting your lives together and spending that much money. so, if you could save some cash, maybe your wedding dress and you can get that where you got your groceries at the same time, would you do it? here's bianna golodryga. >> reporter: for every bride-to-be, one of these becomes her bible. the divine challenge, finding the perfect dress, because from the very expensive to the very cheap, it's always about the dress. >> they really want it to be very special. and they want to know they have found the president one. >> reporter: on average, women try on about 30 wedding dresses at several different stores before they finally say yes to the dress. it's enough to spin any budding
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bride's head. well, now there's a new option for the more one-stop-shopping kind of bride. here comes the bride -- to costco? that's right. the discount retailer most famous for bulk toilet paper and mixed nuts just got into the bridle game. bob, the handler, not included. hello. the draping on the side gives it a nice poof -- long-time bridal designer kircy kelly is teaming up with costco. >> it's creating this concept for the bride so she knows she's getting a high quality gown. it's a couture style gown. the gowns have an ameying construction, fully corseted, out of beautiful fabrications. the only difference is the cost. >> thanks. >> reporter: there's something about costco that suggests bridal wear. you think toilet paper, you think cashews, almonds, anything
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else but clothing. >> right. >> reporter: did you even think twice about it? >> you know, i didn't. i didn't because the costco consumer is a very savvy consumer and our intrid a very savvy bride. the way the economy is going today, everybody is very careful with their dollars. >> reporter: the line is launching in select west coast stores where pop-up brilgd salons are going up for four-day trunk shows. you think of the conventional wedding shopping dress day, where they pamper you, give you a glass of champagne. do you think the costco customer will have the same experience or does this cheapen this at all? >> no, i don't think it cheapens it. from our perspective you're walking into a beautiful salon. we have beautiful flowers, a dressing room area. >> reporter: there's a dress for every body type. >> ta-da! now a costco bride. >> reporter: but a dress for every budget, well, that depends. how much does this retail for? >> this retails for $1299. >> reporter: how much would this cost at one of your other boutiques?
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>> probably about $3900. >> i'm shocked a lot of these dresses are for a decent price. >> reporter: who is the couture bride? she's a bride who has a beautiful event but not spinning all of her savings on it. >> i love this dress. i'm noting to show my mom the dress, so i'm going to get her on the phone and get her down here. >> reporter: we wanted to find out if women could tell the difference between a bulk store bride and aa boutique bride. which do you think is from costco and the high-end bridal boutique. >> this one. >> reporter: where? >> this one from a bridal boutique. >> reporter: wrong. it's a costco dress. >> this is costco. >> reporter: you're right. but you think it looks high end, right? costco high end? >> that's right. not my taste strt still, when their big day comes some women will be wearing something borrowed, something blue and something from their favorite big box store. >> pretty cool. they're calling it costco
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couture. very cool name. >> the bridal industry,74 billion industry. >> and some people say there's a stigma of getting your dress at costco, you got it where you got a giant bag of walnuts. >> true love is priceless. >> that's right. you can find it at costco. if your racing thoughts keep you awake...
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take a look, here's the bbc. >> right here, right now. >> reporter: now, here is a bright idea. a designer low energy light bulb. if you want to illuminate your home in an ecofriendly fashion, have you this occur say shus choice. the designer spent a great deal of time what might turn people on and what might turn them off. their quest was to marry practicality, that that works with a sense of style and beauty to create an object of desire. something you not only wanted to own but hopefully also wanted to keep. >> that's really the role of a designer, i think, is to make objects that people really connect with and cherish. that's one of our roles. obviously in this case it's not just about pretty fiing but the underlie problem of getting people to adopt this stuff because obviously that's in everybody's interest. >> reporter: that is if money is not too much of an issue. funky costs. each one is nearly 20 pounds, that's up to 20 times the price of some other low-energy bulbs.
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and according to the founder of the design museum, it's a shame as with many other products designed in the uk, they're manufactured abroad. >> do we want to live in a country that doesn't make anything? i think it's an appalling idea. that we should just be in po importers. making things is a pleasure and a joy, to be an intelligent designer. you have to understand how the factory works. we cannot live by service industries alone. >> reporter: it's too early to judge if this product has a dazzling future but its creators will be reassured to know that at least one major household retailer said its customers did not consider light bulbs dull. in fact, to them, design matter. bbc news. >> sounds better in the british
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accent. >> the conversion there for the u.s. dollars is $32 a bulb. >> we were inspired. we both designed a bulb and installed them here. let's see how they
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this morning on "world news now" -- breaking news. the nuclear threat in japan forces president obama to begin american evacuations. >> and because of a meltdown risk, families of u.s. embassy employees in japan are being urged to get out. it's thursday, march 17th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." and good morning, everyone, i'm mike marusarz in for rob nelson. >> i'm peggy bunker. that late development about evacuations of u.s. embassy families comes as a japanese military takes desperate steps to avoid a nuclear meltdown. can choppers with water make any difference?
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also ahead, tough questions about nuclear safety here in the u.s. as the president stands by his plans to build more plants. also, one very personal fund-raiser for tsunami and earthquake survivors in japan. a little girl's successful plan to sell her toys in order to raise money. a very sweet story. >> it is a sweet story. we begin with that urgent action to prevent the worst-case scenario around the japanese nuclear plant. military helicopters are dumping water on the reactor in a last-ditch effort to avoid a meltdown. >> the choppers were sent at the insistence of the u.s. who told the japanese that heroic steps are needed. those heroic steps now being made by pilots probably facing death. martha raddatz reports on the increasingly dangerous situation. >> reporter: 50 workers inside the plant working in the dark, with nothing but flashlights, wearing overalls and heavy hazardous suits, trying to put out toxic fires with a hose.
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we are told it's like a horror movie, fighting a monster you cannot see, you cannot touch, but you know is coming to get you. here is what is so worrying. at reactor one, 70% of the fuel rods are damaged. at reactor number three, smoke is billowing out. an explosion there blew out the roof and outer walls, likely cracking the critical containment vessel that holds the nuclear material in. at reactor two, smoke seeping out. the explosion there also believed to have cracked that container around the vessel that holds the red hot nuclear core. and reactor four, you can see it damaged by fire, even out of use fuel rods are in a critical state. the pool supposed to cool them may be out of water, which would lead to the release of plumes of radioactivity. if those two damaged containers with their five feet of cement reinforced by steel, if they give way, there will be no way
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to cool the core. it will melt down, bleed out and also send toxic nuclear clouds into the air. everything depends on those walls holding. some radiation is already seeping out. people lined up to be tested, frustration and worry mounting. this mother saying, i worry so much. radiation cannot be seen. outside the plant, levels spiked to the equivalent of having 10,000 x-rays in an hour. and faint levels are being measured as far as 70 miles away. the u.s. is now calling for all americans within a 50-mile radius of the nuclear plant to evacuate. the military is keeping a safe distance as well. as for the japanese, they say they're still trying to power up the water pumps that would help cool the reactor, but whether that can happen is anyone's guess. martha raddatz, abc news, washington. >> incredibly frightening. as we mentioned, the state
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department is evacuating family members of american embassy personnel. the president told japan's prime minister about that decision to evacuate those americans in a phone call just hours ago. as martha raddatz mentioned, there was an earlier order from the white house, telling americans in japan to stay at least 50 miles away from the fukushima nuclear plant. the australian, british and german governments also told their citizens to consider leaving japan but did not order an evacuation. now is and back here at home, there are new questions about the safety of nuclear power plants. >> lawmakers are weighing in on the issue. john hendren is joining us from washington this morning with more details. >> reporter: good morning, mike and peggy. a series of hearings on capitol hill explored the question, could it happen here? there is no clear consensus on the answer. the japanese nuclear meltdown has americans asking, are u.s. nuclear plants safe? >> i can't reach that conclusion nor can anybody at this point. >> reporter: the risks go beyond tsunamis like the one that struck japan. >> can they withstand a worst case hurricane, tornado, ice
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storm, a terrorist attack? >> reporter: the obama administration insists u.s. plants are safe. >> american people should have full confidence the united states has a rigorous safety regulations in place. >> reporter: so does the u.s. nuclear industry. >> we will glean every lesson we can and we will make sure that the reactors in this country, which are already safe, can even be more safe. >> reporter: japan's nuclear industry made that same guarantee. >> their plants are modeled exactly on ours. >> reporter: the nuclear industry, unfortunately, has a history of, as you've just seen in the japanese officials, you saw at three mile island or chernobyl, it doesn't matter what country, of trying to spin it to put the best case on it. >> reporter: the obama administration has a plan in place to build a spate of new nuclear plants. some members of congress are asking, really? now? >> i'm not sure what you just said. >> okay. >> does the president support new nuclear power plant construction in the united states? >> the present budget is also calling for small modular reactors. that position has not been changed.
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>> so that's a yes? >> that's a yes. >> reporter: with japan facing three nuclear meltdowns, that program is certain to see far more scrutiny on capitol hill. unlike the u.s., germany is taking three months to re-evaluate its entire nuclear energy program. and taking its eight reactors over 30 years old offline while it does so. mike and peggy? this morning a message of sympathy from one earthquake survivor to the people of japan. janette was rescued six days after the quake hit haiti last year. in part, her message reads, the japanese people are suffering enormously. and i'm ready to tell them, have courage. courage. all is not lost. life is a gift. our coverage of the disaster continues later this half hour with a little girl's big-time generosity. also later this morning, more updates from japan on "america this morning" and "good morning america." back here at home, a very close call for two police officers in st. louis. they were diverting traffic after a car crash when another
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car came barrelling down the slick highway, boom, right into the police cruiser there. the driver slammed into the car with flashing lights and all. while the officers barely escaped, one jumped over the median, the other ran down the interstate. golf season is kicking into high gear. "good morning america's" robin roberts sat down for an exclusive interview with tiger woods. it comes after a season in which woods did not register one single win on the pga tour. he tells robin that that was frustrating, of course, but he knows he's still capable of winning. woods also talks about his now life off the course, after the very public split with his wife. >> reporter: is it that what is important has changed or that you've found the balance you've been striving to find? >> well, i think i'm more present. i'm present with my kids. and that's important because to be with them each and every time i'm with them, to feel that and be connected to them, and to see the joy on their faces, whether it's sam dancing and creating
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things and coloring and rearranging furniture and all that stuff. >> and later this morning, what tiger woods says about his losing streak and also his new professional goals. don't miss robin roberts' exclusive interview on "good morning america." >> looking forward to that. here is your thursday forecast. midwest showers. it will be a wet day in chicago, detroit and green bay. another rainy day in seattle, portland and northern california. heavy mountain snow from colorado to idaho. the cascades dry and mild along the east coast. >> 60s here in new york. and baltimore. mid-70s from atlanta to new orleans. 54 in detroit. 68 in omaha. 75 in kansas city. boise, 48. and a balmy 88 in phoenix. we had the panda yesterday. today we have this story. love this. if you can't get to science class maybe we can get science to come to you. >> some home schooled kids in connecticut now enjoying three little ducklings just four weeks after finding abandoned eggs on a farm. the family put the eggs in an incubator and the children
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actually got to see them hatch. >> i love this. the boys have named them webber, feather and ping. very cute. they say they're not getting too attached, even though they're so cute, because once they outgrow the bathtub they'll be sent back to the farm. i like the webber. >> better than the rubber ducks. very good stuff. >> we'll be right back. ♪ rubber ducky you're the one ♪ you make bath time lots of fun ♪ [ male announcer ] 100 crisps in every can. ♪ 100 ways to enjoy pringles. ♪ ♪ and they're the same price as the leading bag chips. 100 crisps... 100 ways.
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it sure is. [ female announcer ] charmin ultra strong. enjoy the go. and for an extra-clean finish, try charmin freshmates. gorgeous shot right there. i love a bargain. do you love a bargain? are you a bargain shopper? >> absolutely. >> some things are really too
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good to be true. i'm talking about those so-called designer flea markets which you can find chanel bags selling for 50 bucks or something like that. >> right. and that's something that's crazy. >> it would be a bargain if it were real. >> that's the problem. our consumer correspondent elisabeth leamy went undercover with authorities and found those designer items, some of them are not only fake but possibly even dangerous. take a look. >> reporter: the chase is on. to capture suspected counterfeiters. and shut down an underworld of fakes. it may look like sheer chaos, but this is actually a carefully executed sting. hours before the raid, the north carolina secretary of state's office gathers police officers from across the state to launch "operation faux pas". >> right here with dvds and shoe will be. >> reporter: they have to catch vendors actually selling the fakes to press charges.
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so four undercover teams will go in first. >> sergeant king's team is going to make a buy. they're going to have the vendor under surveillance. >> reporter: why so aggressive? because of this woman. secretary of state elaine marshall. >> if we can make it, somebody can fake it. >> reporter: her office runs the most intense anticounterfeiting operation in the country. they've seized more than $12 million worth of fakes in the past year alone. >> organized crime has found that we as americans think it's funny to buy something that we clearly know is a knockoff. >> reporter: you can buy fake products at a fraction of the price, but at what cost? marshall says some are dangerous, others made by child labor. plus, north carolina has seized illegal drugs and weapons that were shipped right alongside the counterfeits. >> we're seriously talking about organized crime. laundering things through south america and bringing them into america. >> how much? >> reporter: back at the flea market, we are undercover, too.
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suddenly vendors start to pack up. where are you going? >> they said the cops are here so we're packing. >> reporter: some take off running. they don't get far. police arrest six suspects in all. when we talked to them, most deny selling counterfeits or being part of a larger network. >> i didn't sell anything to anybody. >> reporter: because of north carolina's tough stance, they could face felony charges. do you realize what a risk that is in this state? >> now i do. >> reporter: authorities say often the vendors are low-level players, forced to sell to pay off a debt. are they making you work out here selling this stuff? later at a secret warehouse nearby, officers count and catalog all the merchandise, now evidence in criminal cases. the final tally? more than $700,000 in confiscated counterfeits. counterfeiters are getting way better at making fakes that look
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like the real thing, with the right stitching on purses, the right movement on watches. but there is always one sure way to tell a fake. and that is, if the cost is way cheaper than it normally would be. in washington, elisabeth leamy, abc news. >> seems to be good -- what is it? seems to good to be true, it probably is. that's true for the handbags as well. >> no doubt about that. going to get busted. coming up, star jones and her serious accusations against a co-star. >> oh, boy. and rihanna reveals family secrets coming up next. y secrets coming up next.
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♪ skinny so skinny we're up to date on "celebrity apprentice." for anyone watching the show, that's what we're talking about in "the skinny." we're talking about star jones versus lisa rinna. it's getting very dirt y very ugly. star jones is alleging lisa rinna started a campaign of anti-star sorts of tweets and e-mails, that has really helped to disgrace star on the show.
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lisa's off the show. apparently that's when these tweets and e-mails started. she says, in fact, one of the -- one of the pictures was a shot of lisa rinna with a horned monster. she captioned the photo, hey, look, here's a great photo of me and star jones. >> yeah, lisa rinna was the sort of project manager on the last task on sunday night's episode and she really butted heads with star jones. seems like this has spilled over -- >> it's getting pretty serious. star has gone to the legal team at nbc and mark brunette production. she says she's been harassing me and i want it to stop. we'll have to see what happens. >> absolutely, we'll see what happens there. rihanna making headlines about the relationship with her estranged father, ronald. apparently she's talking -- she did a big thing for "vogue" and she's on the cover. she's opening up -- >> she looks good. >> she does look good. the hair, interesting choice, by the way. >> red hair. >> very, very red hair. no doubt about that. very appropriate for st. patrick's day. >> there you go, yes. >> so, yes. she's talking about her estranged father and sort of opening up about this relationship.
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she said to "vogue" she says, like what do i even mean to him? it's really strange. >> because he sort of sold her out, right? >> that's what she's saying. >> which we have also another story about that coming up. we do have happy hollywood news. guess what's going to happen next week? reese witherspoon is going to marry her caa agent beau, jim toth. >> there he is. >> he's a handsome fella. he's very tall. >> now, i don't think -- is he actually her agent? >> i don't know. >> i don't think he's -- yeah, he's not her agent because he didn't want any conflict but an agent at caa. nobody's starving at that house. >> no, i'd say they're both going to do very well. they're a good pair because they're both in that same soup, at the same events. they began dating in early 2010, he popped the question in december. they're going to get married in ojai, which is a little place north of los angeles. >> yeah. she had that big relationship with ryan phillippe -- >> the one she was married to? >> yeah, that's right.
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>> and had two kids with? >> yeah, that one. i'm so up to date on this stuff. >> okay. >> that was sad. >> yeah, that was sad. come on now. >> let's talk about katy perry, always a good segue. katy perry's mom is apparently shopping a book about her life. now, katy perry's parents run a christian ministry. so, apparently katy perry's mother is mary, is not happy with the way katy perry is living her life, especially since she was involved in this christian upbringing. perry has said we were never allowed to swear. i'd get into trouble for just saying "hell no". >> she had to say things like jiminy christmas. like if she wanted to -- you know, that was kind of like the worst expletive she could utter. she has this wonderful career. i wonder what the parents think of russell brands, though, because he's a bit of a wild child. >> that could be part of the ambience. last few seconds. a sad note.
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nate dog of the r&b and rap world has died at the age of 41. of course, he did a lot of projects with snoop dogg. not known exactly the cause of death but dead at age 41, nate dogg. >> very sad. information for pe. maybe you don't think you're at isk for heart attack or stroke but if you've been diagnosed with p.a.d., or have pain or heaviness in yur legs, i want to talk to you. you may have heard of poor leg circulation, which could be peripheral artery dsease, or p.a.d. with p.a.d., if you have poor circulation in your legs, you may also have poor circulation in your heart or in your brain, your risk for heart attack or stroke is more than doubled with p.a.d. now, ask yourself: am i at risk? if you're not sure, call for this free information kit to learn more. [ female announcer ] call the toll free number on the screen now to find out what the risks of p.a.d. really are. you'll find a 7-point checklist
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that helps you understand what could be putting you at risk. if you have symptoms, you'll learn how treating symptoms is different from reducing your risk. you'll also learn .about lifestyle changes and treatment options that can help reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke. there's even a discussion guide for ou to bring to your doctor that can help you discuss .a.d. together. call the toll free number .on the screen for your free information kit today. the risk is real. take the next step. call today.
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[ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are switching from tylenol to advil. here's one story. my name is betty and i am an animal lover who does rescue. being a foster parent for dogs is very grueling. washing them -- it causes a lot of strain on my lower back.
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i used to take tylenol, and now i take advil and it works quickly and it takes away my pains. [ male announcer ] make the switch. take action. take advil. save on advil with our special coupon in select newspapers on march 27th. here are the developments we're following this morning on the disaster in japan. president obama is allowing family members of u.s. government workers in japan to evacuate. arrangements are being made for charter flights. an earlier white house order told americans in japan to stay at least 50 miles away from the fukushima nuclear plant. japanese military helicopters have been dropping water on that crippled plant today. they're hoping the aerial assault will cool off the reactors and avoid a total meltdown. the japanese stock market opened lower. taking back yesterday's gains. the yen soared to a new high against the dollar on the currency markets.
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finally, while the world watches the tragic events in japan, many wonder what we can do here to help. this includes one little massachusetts girl. >> she sprang into action selling her most precious items in hopes that she can help those who need it the most. here's tricia taskey of our affiliate wggb. >> this aautumn. and it's going to be hard for me to give her away. >> reporter: 7-year-old sage freeman is parting with some of her toys. >> this is tigger. >> tigger is going to be hard. >> reporter: the florence, mass, girl is selling some of her toys, books and clay scum tours she makes to raise money for those devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in japan. >> it's sort of hard to sell my toys and books but it's not that hard to make the sculptures. >> reporter: she came up with the idea after learn being the disaster in her first grade class. >> saturday morning she woke up and she said, mommy, i have a really strong feeling i need to help the people in japan. she said to me, mommy, i have a lot of toys.
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i could sell my toys and give the money to the people in japan. >> reporter: they remembered shelter box, an organization that helped out after last year's earthquakes in haiti and chile. >> they send -- it's like a huge box. inside the box they send a tent big enough for ten people and a multi-fuel stove, ground sheets, blankett blankettes, et cetera. >> reporter: sage's letter explaining her plan was sent out on a mass e-mail and it took off. >> a lot of people have been saying, please don't send us anything. we want to you keep your toys. >> reporter: she's already reached her $1,000 goal. she hit her goal on monday night. by monday night she'd made over $1,000. >> reporter: sage really did this whole project on her own but her mother did have to help her with a few things, like hooking her up with the shelter box organization and she also created her own web page so people could make donations easier. they'll be collecting those donations for a few more weeks. if you would like to contribute you can go to her website at
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fundraiser/reps. in florence, i'm tricia taskey. fundraiser/reps. in florence, i'm tricia taskey. >> a great idea which has guy: hey, sara. guy: hey, sara. oh my gosh. he's so cute. how do you know him? c'mon donovan, do it like i taught ya. love the new tattoo, sara. let's go! dude. what? dude, that's sara.
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who's sara? the girl in the pink shirt. that's the girl i was telling you about. oh, that's sara. theater two on your left. hey sara, what color underwear today? hey sara. so, when you gonna post something new? announcer: anything you post online, anyone can see. family, friends... see ya later, sara. even not-so-friendly people.
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this morning on "world news now" -- breaking news from japan. family members of u.s. government workers in japan are urged to leave the country. >> charter flights are being arranged to evacuate americans as japan tries to prevent a nuclear meltdown. it's thursday, march 17th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." good morning. i'm peggy bunker. >> i'm mike marusarz in for rob nelson. the president's decision to allow the u.s. evacuations comes as japanese military chopper dump water on that fukushima nuclear plant. but will this really help stop the meltdown?
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>> also ahead, we'll take a look at all the available options at fukushima as the s suation grows more desperate hour r hour. difficult questions about power plant safety here in the u.s. and how our own nuclear program compares to japan's. we begin with the military flights over the crippled nuclear reactor, choppers dumping water in a final attempt to stop a full meltdown. >> the u.s. urgently insisted that japan take heroic steps to head off a catastrophe. indeed, the pilots of those choppers are probably facing death. t.j. winick has the latest. good morning, t.j. mike and peggy, good morning. it appears the situation at the plant continues to worsen, though there has been a lot of conflicting information between what japanese officials are saying and what is being said here in the u.s. workers who might very well be on a suicide mission are inside the fukushima nuclear power plant working in the dark with nothing but flash lights, wearing overalls and heavy hazardous suits, trying to put out toxic fires with a hose.
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>> they put their lives in their coworkers' hands and there's a trust and bond that everybody is absolutely going to do whatever is necessary to combat the situation. >> reporter: at reactor number one, 70% of the fuel rods are damaged. at reactors two and three, explosions are believed to have damaged the container around the vessel that holds the red hot nuclear core. the containers are five feet of cement, reinforced by steel. but if they give way, there will be no way to cool the core. it will melt down, sending toxic nuclear clouds into the air. and at reactor number four, even out of use fool rods may be in danger of relosing plumes of radioactivity. >> they continue to believe there is a severe concern with the spent fuel pool number four because it does not have a sufficient cooling and water in the pool. >> reporter: radiation is already seeping out. people are lining up to be tested. the washington fund-raiser, the president said japan and the
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u.s. are bound by a common humanity. >> reminded of how american leadership is critical to our closest allies, even if those allies are themselves economically advanced and powerful, there are moments where they need our help. >> reporter: of all the flights landing in the united states from japan on wednesday, none tested positive for radiation at harmful levels. mike and peggy? as we've been reporting this morning, the state department is evacuating family members of american government personnel who are in japan. the president told japan's prime minister his evacuation decision in a phone call just hours ago. there was already an earlier order from the white house, telling americans in japan to stay at least 50 miles away from that fukushima nuclear plant. the australian, british and german governments told their citizens they should consider leaving japan but did not order an official evacuation. the nuclear crisis has overshadowed the search for survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. heavy snow and freezing
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temperatures are also making it difficult for international teams working on the coast o o japan. one british team member said they are still clinging to the hope of finding survivors. but it's mainly bodies being pulled from the rubble now. back here at home, the japan crisis has deepened worries about a nuclear catastrophe on u.s. soil. dan harris takes a look at whether any of those worries are warranted. >> reporter: the fear that at's happening over in japan could happen here in america was on full display on capitol hill. >> we have a sitittion that is scaring the life out of everybody. >> reporter: this is what democrat henry waxmamasaid when asked if american nuclear reactors are safe. >> no, i can't reach that conclusion nor can anybody at this point. the industry tells us to relax, we're okay. i wouldn't take anything like that at facecealue. >> reporter: waxman points out those japanese reactors are the same ones used here in america at 16 different plants across the country.
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the reactors called the mark i built by general electric starting in the 1960s have been controversial for years. in the 1970 dale bridenbaugh and two colleagues became known as the ge-3 when they quit over safety concerns about the mark i reactors which they feared were not large or strong enough to contain radiation in the event of a meltdown. in fact, ge specifically marketed the mark i as cheaper and easier to build. bridenbaugh is watching the events in japan fearfully. >> you know, it's frightening to me that we've gotten into this situation where thousands of people may lose their lives as a result of this. >> reporter: after the ge-3 quit back in 1975, the mark i reactors here in the u.s. all underwent safety modifications. ge tells abc news the mark is have, quote, a proven track record of performing reliably and safely for more than 40 years.
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but is 40 years too long for a nuclear reactor to be in operation? some experts we spoke to said, yes. >> these reactors are old d d as a sign of a car dealer i believe you should rotate your metal every once in a while. >> reporter: we learned the governor of new york has ordered a safety review of a nuclear power plant that sits near a seismic fault line just 35 miles north of new york city. dan harris, abc news, new york. our coverage of the disaster in japan continues later this half hour with a look at all the options available to stop a disaster at the fukushima plant. we'll also have live updates all morning long on "america this morning" and also "good morning america," so stay with abc news. meanwhile, the u.s. is ststping up its warning to bahrain over the violent crackdown on antigovernment protesters. this amateur video appears to show a demonstrator being shot in the leg by troops and then falling to the ground in agony. six people were killed yesterday when riot police moved in to clear a landmark square in the
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capital. in libya, four "new york times" journalisis are missing. pulitzer prize winning reporter anthony shadid, stephen farrell and photographers tyler hicks and lynsey addario were last heard from on tuesday. moammar gadhafi's forces are battling rebels near a key city in eastern libya. in the u.n. security council, a vote could take place today on whether to impose a no-fly zone over libya. a cia contractor is a free man this morning after weeks in a pakistani prison. raymond davis was let out yesterday amid great anger in pakistan. he was accused of killing two men who had worked for pakistan's intelligence agency in a shootout. their families were paid nearly $2.5 million each. the u.s. is denying making those payments. well, a southern california man is tasting freedom for the first time in 20 years. after going to prison for a crime he did not commit. francisco's murder conviction was overturned after witnesses recanted their testimony. he was just a teenager when he
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was identified as the gunman in a deadly drive high by shooting in los angeles but he's always insisted his home is with his father at the time. now -- >> this is a classic example of mistaken eyewitness identification there's an innocent man. he went in at 16, comes out at 37. he grew up in prison. >> it's a beautiful day in l.a., man. the sun's piercing through the trees there. i've always had faith and confidence that justice would prevail. you know, here's proof of it, man. >> now, in prison he got his ged, learned braille and also became an accomplished artist. he says he harbors no bitterness over the conviction. instead, he would like to focus on enjoying the future. >> mentioned the sunny skies there in california. here's a look at your thursday weather. light rain in seattle, portland and northern california. as much as a foot of snow in cascades, wyoming, utah and colorado. rainy in chicago, milwaukee and detroit. much warmer in the eastern half of the country.
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>> 55 in the twin cities. 68 in indianapolis. 80 in dallas. atlanta's at 74. baltimore, 64. 40s in boise and salt lake. 50s in the pacific northwest. and nearly 90 degrees in phoenix. sounds good. this was not your usual call for animal control officers in knoxville. they arrived to find this tiny monkey about 30 feet up in the air on a branch of a tree. >> come on now. didn't take these guys long to figure out the owner lived nearby. she was actually able to coax the monkey down and into a cage. the animal was able to escape over the weekend when burglars broke into the house. and i guess, let the monkey out. >> that's crazy. just hanging out. monkeying around up there. >> he is. but it seems like he knew where he lived. he didn't want to stray too far. he knows where his bread's buttered. he wanted to go back home. >> just hanging out. he's probably going to fill out his ncaa brackets. >> we'll talk about that. apparently my first team lost. i'm not good at that. more monkey business coming up. >> here we go.
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get lunesta for a $0 co-pay at sleep well, on the wings of lunesta. ♪ as we continue to monitor the critical situation at japan's nuclear plant, we're also hearing comparisons to past nuclear accidents. >> the president's energy secretary has already said japan's crisis h h surpassed that partial meltdown of three mile island back in 1979. so where do they stand in getting this disaster under control? here's the bbc's david shukman. >> reporter: a neat row of reactors, how the power station used to look. compare it to a satellite picture today and the terrible aftermath of fires and explosions. in the middle of the picture, a
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plume of steam, almost certainly radioactive. on the left, reactor four, its nuclear fuel now open to the elements. one of the big challenges is that so little is known about what's going on inside the power station. the priority is cooling the reactors. a cloud emerged from this one today, no one's sure why. the aim is to keep water flowing through them to reduce temperatures, but there's a dilemma. doing this creates steam and too much of that could trigger another leak or explosion. now, all the time, increased radiation is a serious threat to the workers. reactor three is reportedly giving off so much that they can't get close to reactor four. and the problem there is with a tank or pool storing rods of nuclear fuel. it's been losing water. this could be the most serious development so far. tonight, u.s. government officials gave a stark assessment. >> there is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe radiation levels are extremely
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high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures. >> reporter: so, this crisis in reactor four could be the hardest to tackle. experts warn of the risk of a bigger leak. going to be a spread of em is radiation in the vicinity of the reactors. i think the melting of fuel is quite possible. as a consequence, again, you will get a greater potential dispersion of the radioactivity. >> reporter: spare a thought for the workers battling this nightmare. 180 of them are working in shifts to minimize their radiation exposure. the legal limit has been raised to allow them more time inside. but there's little protection as they face multiple hazards. >> it's been a state of emergency declared -- >> reporter: compare this with the accident at three mile island in pennsylvania in 1979. there was partial meltdown but only one reactor involved, not four. >> the japan incidence actually
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appears to be more serious than three mile island. to what extent, we don't really know now. as they're unfolding very rapidly on an hour by hour, day by day basis and there are conflicting reports. >> reporter: if the reactors aren't too badly damaged and if the nuclear fuel tank can be refilled with water, control can be re-established but the next few days are critical. david shukman, bbc news. >> as energy secretary was saying there, there are a lot of unknows, but we've been watching a lot of these flyovers from the hell corporates trying to pour water on. there was discussion about doing acid and also just cement to entomb the reactor. >> of course, the pilots of those h hicopters trying to douse the danger, so to speak, are still facing a possible threat, too, even hovering about that area. no doubt a fluid situation and something we'll stay on top of. for the moment, we're going to turn away from our top story for a bit. >> just a quick minute we're going to start our own march madness as president obama gets into the game as well and makes his picks, his bracket picks. i'm already losing.
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>> that's not a good way to start out. i know. >> what's going on? . >> that's not a good way to start out.
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kansas against perdue. >> i think kansas keeps on winning. >> pitt against flflida. >> i think pitt's going to win. i think ohio state has the talent this year. >> duke against connecticut. >> all right, reggie's looking over my shoulder. i'm going to pick duke. >> kansas versus pitt semifinal, who wins? >> kansas. and i'm going to pick ohio state. >> ohio state versus kansas. >> i'm picking kansas. this is a great tradition. we have fun doing it. while you're doing it on, if you're on your laptop go to and that will list charities where you can potentially help those devastated in japan. >> we like that. president making his picks with espn. now it's time for our picks, of
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course, everybody getting involved in march madness. this is "world news now" style, though. >> that's right. first up, some highlights as the field was whittled to just 64 teams. of course, a new format this year so they had four games before the first official full day of action. >> watch this. here it goes. university of texas at san antonio taking on alabama state last night. really was all about mr. melvin johnson in the third. he poured in 29 points. swoosh! is that how you say that? >> i like that. >> as road runners racked up their first ncaa tournament win. they head to cleveland to take on mighty ohio state on friday. >> the ohio state university. >> i'm sorry, the ohio state. >> that's right. they're going to come after you, buckeyes there. then virginia commonwealth university against southern califofoia. a close game until u went on an 11-1 run late. >> what was that? >> vcu gets the win. they face georgetown in chicago also on friday. >> that's one that threw me. the field is set so now competition first and most importantly, mike, let us know who are the key players? >> as a substitute here i never
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get to play in the reindeer games,s,ut -- >> we still love you. >> that's right. so to speak. rob is in, of course, peggy, you are, too. willis, is he in. he t tk part in the competition. he's back. and debuting is our broadcast producer david myers. >> looking agile. >> coming g rong. i am not in for those keeping score. >> but you make a heck of a commentator. i've got to say. >> so, there are actually rules for this competition. >> you should know all the picks are in, brackets are complete, no going back and changing your team. check out all of our second and third round picks on our facebook page. i'm already down one. i went with usc not the -- not vcu. that came out of nowhere. i was surprised. >> not a good way to start off but you have time to catch up. games get bigger and so do the points. the points, by round one, two, five seven, ten. and for picking winner of the national championship, 15 points. >> we'll have scoring updates after every day of the games which means our first update
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will be tomorrow morning. >> that's right. now to the important stuff, who's going to win it all? again, i'm not in this thing. >> right. >> but -- just to make sure people know. >> it might just go to willis. >> but i can say that rob has picked pittsburgh as his national champion. he phoned that in. >> right. good luck next time with that one, rob. i think it's going to be the ohio state -- you see there rob going for a three-pointer for pitt. i see the buckeyes win it all in houston on april 4th. there i am. i played center on the basketball team, i would like to mention, for a little while there, in elementary school. >> oh, watch out. good luck. you're going to need it. if only because willis is taking the uconn huskies to rein supreme. >> oh, yeah, willis. oh, my. great minds think alike. david must have copied my sheet because he also says the ohio state university buckeyes are going to take the whole thing. what is that move david has going on? looks like he's traveling. >> we'll have updates and tomorrow morning.hat stuff later on on the technology page you can check
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out cool apps which will allow you to stay connected to all the game action throughout the tournament. >> light. you can watch the whole thing as it breaks down. we'll keep you posted on all that. west virginia versus clemson coming up.
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♪ ♪ we're not wearing green for nothing over here. >> where is the guinness? >> yes, where is it? i don't know if we can do that this early. maybe after. time for your "morning papers," rob is not here today which is kind of a good thing because he is not a dog person. >> i love dogs. . >> yes. you love dogs so you'll appreciate this story. i'm definitely a dog person. some would say to the tenth degree. this is about a tibetan mastiff. i have never seen a tibetan mastiff and most people haven't because they're normally in china. this guy just sold for $1.5 million. >> look at that.
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>> yes. the reason is apparently he's going to be an incredible breeding dog. he's got incredible genes. he is also a status symbol. these dogs are now status symbols of china's new rich and he is the most expensive dog evev sold. his name is big splash, or in chinese, hong dong. >> there you go. so, there you go. >> big splash. >> we're going to move on to a story out in san diego. and this guy was upset at his credit card company. he was having some problems, so he decided to pay his $6500 bill with penny. >> all 6500 bucks in pennies. >> oh, yes. >> how did he get that to the company? >> he loaded it up in a truck and decided to roll in. apparently it was a van, actually. also 650,000 of them. he w w having a problem. he got frustrated and he decided to take out his revenge -- >> you hear about people like that, college tuition, they protest how much it costs to go to college so they show up with the truck full of coins to get
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their rerenge. as we were talking about, today is st. patrick's day. a lot of people will be maybe cutting out of work a little early. a lot more people will be putting on glean. >> that's true. >> if you don't, you get pinched. you have your green on. >> we do have the green on. by the way, i do -- people are going to be out at the bars, you know, and so we do have a story about denver's irish bar. some bartenders are saying enough, right? >> they hate st. patrick's day. >> they're tired of working on st. patrick's day. people start drinking early there, right? >> very early. they have a thing called green eggs and beer and people line up before it even opens to get in there and it turns into mayhem by 11:00 or 12:00. as you can imagine. we're not doing that around here. we're celebrating with traditional irish soda bread. >> that's right. >> compliments of allison, who lovingly brought this in for us. >> smells great. >> let's crack one open. crack open the bread. we're breaking bread. >> take a look at this. it's got some little fragrant raisins and such. >> take a bite. >> i detect gooen guinness.
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>> is it in there? >> yeah. >> are you going to try? >> why not? >> oh, wow, jumping right in. i love it. >> very good. >> we need the bagpipes.
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